DVD review: 'Talihina Sky: The Story of Kings of Leon'
Most young would-be rockers aspire to stardom for fame and fortune — and, of course, love for the music — but for the brothers and cousin in Kings of Leon it was an angry rebellion,
That much is clear from viewing “Talihina Sky: The Story of Kings of Leon,” director Stephen C. Mitchell’s documentary on the Followills — siblings Nathan, Caleb, Jared and cousin Matthew — and their impossible rise from a poverty-ridden, strict Pentecostal upbringing in rural Oklahoma and Tennessee settings, and the backseat of itinerant preacher Ivan Leon Followill’s ramshackle Oldsmobile, to international rock stardom, and smoking dope and getting trashed on private jets.
“Bein’ poor isn’t fun,” Kings of Leon frontman Caleb says during one interview. “It’s embarrassing. It’s one of those things that you strive to get out of and you strive to never have your family go through. We were livin’ in the worst of the worst ghetto in Oklahoma City. Literally had two pairs of pants, me and Nathan. I would wear one, he would wear the other, my mom would wash ‘em, and the next day we would wear the others.”
The brothers weren’t allowed to watch TV unsupervised, and listening to “the devil’s music” was strictly forbidden, according to stories confirmed by their mother, BettyAnn. Recent backstage footage openly reveals that the hard-partying Followills are more than making up for childhood deprivation, raising more hell than heaven these days, although they apparently remain true believers.
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